Holidays in Belgium

A holiday in Belgium is pure joy and has something for everyone. If you love a family beach holiday, then you can travel to the wide sandy beaches and slowly descending water when staying at a holiday home on the Belgian Coast. You can not only enjoy sunbathing here, but you can also swim, build sand castles and walking through the dunes. The theme park Plopsaland de Panne is a stone's throw away and ideal for the smallest members of your family. The lively seaside resorts Oostende, de Haan, de Panne and Blankenberge invite you to a wonderful holiday at the sea. You can trek into nature and visit the nature reserve Zwin with her many species of aquatic birds. Don't forget your binoculars when on holidays in Belgium.

Cultural holidays in Belgium
A city trip to Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent or Bruges will always be a success. Each one of them is a beautiful city with astounding architecture and authentic style, the ideal destination during a holiday in Belgium. Take a city tour along the Beguiniage, linen hall and Belfry or chose to go shopping in the endless shopping streets. With a holiday home in the Belgian Art Cities you will be in a perfect place for a cultural holiday in Belgium, and the smaller cities of Namur, Dinant and the picturesque Durbuy are definitely worth a visit. You should also take the time to visit the citadel and Bouillon castle. Make your complete the day with a visit the caves of Han and Coo. Near Coo you'll also find the well known waterfalls and a theme park. This day will definitely be a success for the children and they will also enjoy your family vacation in Belgium.

Enjoy nature from the holiday homes in Belgium
If you are in search of a wonderful holiday with your dog in Belgium, then we advise you to choose the Ardennes. Where you can enjoy the rolling mountains and explore them on foot or by bike all you like. The true adventurers can indulge in kayaking, rock climbing, abseiling, descending by zip wire and caving. A thrilling outdoor weekend or holiday in Belgium. Just north of the Ardennes you'll find the nature area High Fens, a great destination for a hiking holiday. The special routes take you through this unique nature area over plank bridges. A cycling holiday can be enjoyed with a holiday home in Limburg or in the Kempen, where you'll find numerous cycling routes along pastures and rivers. This versatile country awaits your visit during your holiday in Belgium.

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Famous landmarks and fun adventures with a holiday home in Belgium

Belgium has a very rich historical background. Check out the old town of Durbuy in Luxembourg and visit its impressive Castle of the Counts of Ursel, or take a stroll along the Ourthe River while staying at a holiday home in Belgium. Visit famous landmarks like Manneken Pis, a bronze statue in Brussels made during the early 17th century by Jerome Duquesnoy. Usually the boy pees water, but on special occasions he urinates beer or wine. In the city of Ghent, take a stroll through its beautiful center and check out one of the most amazing paintings of the medieval world, Jan van Eyck's "Adoration of the Mystic Lamb" in St-Baafskathedraal. Antwerp's cathedral is probably the most beautiful Gothic building in the country, with an astonishing interior and beautiful paintings. Meanwhile, the nature here offers plenty of opportunity for walking, hiking or cycling through the densely forested hills while on holiday in Belgium. On the Internet you can get route information and there are plenty of well-marked trails to choose from.

A cultural experience
For a very cultural side of the country book a holiday home in Belgium and visit beautiful cities like Brussels, Bruges, Antwerp, Mons, Liege and Ghent where you will find numerous museums, art exhibitions and workshops, perfect for a memorable cultural experience during your holiday in Belgium. Liege for example can take you through a beautiful journey dotted with culture, history, as well as plenty of entertainment. If you are not an art lover per se, you can still enjoy the excitement of a city break as these cities, as well as others, are home to an impressive architectural heritage as seen in their imposing medieval castles and churches. In Flanders you can experience the city of Ghent by boat, or you can take the kids to the Antwerp Zoo for a wonderful day. Visit such historic landmarks as Borrekens Castle in Vorselaar and Bossenstein Castle in Borechem, the latter complete with moat. Shopping is also a popular way of spending time in this beautiful country. There are plenty of shops and stores where you can find everything from food to clothing, jewelry, etc. So whatever you're looking for, you'll find that there's something for everyone in the wonderful cities here.

Get active in Belgium
This country is the perfect escape for the ones craving for adventure while on holiday in Belgium. With three main geographical areas, the coastal plain, central plateau and the Ardennes, you can tailor your vacation among nature here to suit your desires. Walking, cycling and horseback riding in the forested are very popular activities in the Belgian Ardennes, where you can also pursue a challenging mountain biking tour. In the Ardennes you can also enjoy sports like climbing, kayaking and abseiling, even a skiing family holiday in Belgium is possible. The North Sea coast is the perfect place for spending time with the family at the beach, for water sports, while the central plateau is ideal for just rambling around. Golf lovers will also find that they can meet their passion here on one of the numerous golf courses. The country is a real outdoor paradise so it's a great place for those looking for any type of adventure.

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Types of houses

    Holiday homes Belgium

    Holiday homes Belgium

    The holiday homes in Belgium are a versatile destination for a fantastic family holiday or a holiday with pets. The pet friendly holiday homes are the ideal starting point of hikes and day trips, especially in the Ardennes and on the Belgian coast. Wherever you go you will never get bored, because Belgium is a country of endless possibilities. Theme parks like Plopsaland and Plopsa Coo, Bobbejaanland and the Barvaux labyrinth will make a holiday with children a true success. Are you more of a nature lover, then you will find the nature area of the High Fens in the North East, a unique peat-more full of hiking possibilities. A holiday at the waterfront is truly enjoyable, the fast running rivers of the Ardennes, lakes for water sports or a holiday at the Belgian coast, for this alone you would rent a holiday home in Belgium.

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    Apartments Belgium

    Apartments Belgium

    Choose to rent an apartment in Belgium, the ideal starting point for a city trip to Bruges, Ghent, Brussels or Antwerp. The apartments in the city make sure you are always in the centre of the touristic sights. You may have a view over the square with the Belfry, the picturesque canals with the houses alongside or you reach the shopping street within minutes to enjoy a weekend of shopping. For a beach holiday there are also plenty of possibilities, for example in Oostende, de Haan en Blankenberge, where you can enjoy the sea view from your own balcony. The apartments at the coast are also very suitable for a summer holiday or weekend break. You are close to the beach, the sea and the lively boulevard. Your hikes through the dunes start at your front door. Will it be shopping and culture or the sun, sea and beach, the choice is yours.


    Villas from bungalow.net Belgium

    Villas from bungalow.net Belgium

    Enjoy a stay in a luxurious holiday in the villas in Belgium with swimming pool or jacuzzi. They are located on the nicest spots where you can walk straight into nature or enjoy a beautiful sea view. There is plenty of space for a holiday with children or take the family dog along for a truly a complete family holiday. Hike in the forests of the Ardennes or go cycling along the fields and hills of the Voerstreek. Have a picnic in a sheltered and sunny spot and upon your return to the villa in Belgium you can take a plunge in the pool and close the day with a lovely barbecue. A holiday near the sea offers you something extra, you're not only at the beach within minutes, but you can also enjoy the fresh sea breeze and the sound of the waves on the veranda. This is why we think you should choose a holiday on the Belgian Coast.


    Group accommodations Belgium

    Group accommodations Belgium

    A weekend break with friends or family to a group accommodation in Belgium, the ideal destination for an outdoor weekend. Rock climbing, kayaking, caving, mountain biking, abseiling, zip wire and much more all starts at a group house in the Ardennes. Your holidays among nature with the whole family comes true here. Hiking together, going to the beach or sitting on the waterfront. The spacious group houses in Belgium offer all comfort you need to sit in front of the fire place and cook and eat together. The large garden surrounding the group accommodation in Belgium offer room for games and a match of soccer or volleyball and of course a barbecue. A city trip may not be missed out on, visit Namur, Dinant, Brussels, Antwerp or Bruges. Wherever you go you will always enjoy a stay with your friends or family in a group accommodation in Belgium.


    Holiday parks Belgium

    Holiday parks Belgium

    The children play in the playground and at the swimming pool, they make new friends and have a great time with animation team, this is why you book a house on a holiday park in Belgium. The cosy holiday parks in Belgium await you for your family holiday. Whether you wish to spend your days at the sea or in the Ardennes there is a suitable destination for everyone. Within walking distance you reach the sand dunes, the beach or you are amidst the forest with its splashing rivers and numerous hiking paths, it’s always wonderful to be among nature. It's also the ideal destination for several families travelling together. You rent 2 houses next to each other to eat together and play games, but you can still enjoy your privacy. There is always plenty to see and do in Belgium, the land of beer and chocolate welcomes you and don’t forget to try the Flemish fries and waffles from Liege.

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Specials

Practical Information

Documents

For travel to and within Belgium you will need the following documents:

  • A valid passport or ID card. For Belgians a drivers license is also a valid ID. Don't forget to bring your car insurance documents. From the 26th of June 2012 onwards children will also need their own identification.

Driving a car:

  • Speed limits:
    Within the city limits: 50km/h
    Outside the city limits: 90km/h
    Highways 120km/h (min. 70km/h)

  • In Belgium the legal alcohol limit is 0,5‰.

  • You must have a red warning triangle and fluorescent vest in your car. You also need to carry a a fire extinguisher and first aid kit on board.

  • We advise you to carry non-skid chains or use winter tires in winter, especially in the Ardennes.

  • It's not allowed to pass through an orange traffic light. Be extra careful at a flashing traffic light.

  • Note that at a green light the opposing traffic can also turn left.

  • Cruise control is not allowed everywhere, it's indicated with signs.

General Information

  • Surface area: 30,528 km²

  • Number of inhabitants: 11 million (2011)

  • Capital: Brussels

  • Form of government: Constitutional monarchy

  • Languages: Flemish (Dutch), French and German

  • Currency: Euro

Currency

The currency of Belgium is the Euro. The coins are 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 Euro cents and 1 and 2 Euro. Bank notes come in 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 Euro.

Food and Drink 

  • Flemish Fries

  • Paling in 't groen (Eel stewed in vegetables)

  • Gentse Waterzooi (Soup made of fish, potatoes and vegetables)

  • Luikse Wafels (Waffels from Liege)

  • Belgische pralines (Belgian Chocolates)

  • Mechels Margrietje (Lemon biscuit)

  • Kalletaart (regional specialty of Kortrijk)

  • Various sorts of Belgian beer (Trapist, Leffe, Stella Artois)

Pets

If you want to bring your pet with you on your holiday to Belgium, you need to be mindful of the following:

  • Pets must have a European pet passport which states which vaccinations your pet has had.

  • Pets need to have identification by means of a chip (a tattoo is not valid as of the 2nd of July 2011).

  • Pets need to be vaccinated against the following diseases (at least):
    - Dogs: rabies
    - Cats: feline enteritis and toxoplasmosis

  • Make sure that your pet has been wormed prior to departure.

  • Plan ahead and contact your vet for vaccinations and a pet passport.

  • Holidays within Belgium you don't need to meet special conditions. We advise you to bring the animals passport in case something happens to your pet and you need to visit the vet.

  • You are allowed to bring a maximum of 5 pets to Belgium.

Conversation basics

When you go on holiday in Belgium it means you will most likely encounter a different language. Besides Flemish (Dutch) there is French spoken in the southern part of Belgium and in the eastern tip German is the most common language. Therefore we’d like to introduce you to the conversation basics. It’s always appreciated if you know a few words in the foreign language.

Dutch has some difficult sounds and some are pronounced in the back of your throat. You can use the pronunciation of the vowels and letters below with the pronunciation in brackets behind the words.

a - is a British “a” like in can’t
aa - is a longer and more open “a”, like the last a in area
au - is like “ouch” without the ch
e - is an American “a” like in the word can
ee is a long American “a” like in the word cane
eu - as the first “e” in nerve
g - pronounced in the back of your throat, as if clearing it
i - is the “i” in hint
ie - is “ee” in Greece
ei or ij - English doesn’t know this sound but an “ai” as in five is closest.
o - is the “o” like the first o in hollow
oe - as an “oo” in good
oo - is a longer more open “o” as in locomotive
ou - as in ouch without the ch or as in house
r - pronounced in the back of your throat, as if clearing it
u - as the “u” in blunt, within a word. In other forms it is pronounced "uu"
ui - there is no such vowel in English, ou like house is closest.
uu - is a sound that does not exist in English but the “u” in utopia, without the j that is pronounced before it, is closest.

Good Morning - Goedemorgen (goodemorgen)
Good Day - Goedendag (goodendag)
Good Evening - Goedenavond (goodenaavond)
Hello - Hallo (hallo)
Goodbye - Tot ziens (tot zeens)
Here you are/Please - Alstublieft (alstubleeft)
Thank you - Dank u wel (dank u well)
Sorry - Sorry

Supermarket - Supermarkt (supermarkt)
Bakery - Bakker
Butcher - Slager (slaager)
Restaurant - Restaurant
Apothecary - Apotheek (Apothake, with a long o like locomotive)
Hospital - Ziekenhuis - (zeekenhouse)
Doctor - Dokter (docter)
Dentist - Tandarts (tandarts)
Swimming pool - Zwembad (zwembad)
Beach - Strand (strand)

One - Eén (ane, like cane without the c)
Two - Twee (twa, with an a as in cane)
Three - Drie (dree)
Four - Vier (veer)
Five - Vijf (vaif)
Six - Zes (zas, American a)
Seven - Zeven (zaiven)
Eight - Acht (acht, British a)
Nine - Negen (naigen)
Ten - Tien (teen)

French
Good day – Bonjour (bonsjoor)
Good evening – Bonsoir (bonswoir)
Hello – Salut (saluu)
Good bye – Au revoir (o revwoir)
Please giving/receiving – S’il vous plaît (seal voo play)
Thank you – Merci bien (merzee bien)
Sorry – pardon / Excusez moi (excuzay mwah)

Supermarket – Supermarché (supermarsjai)
Bakery – Boulanger (boolansjai)
Butcher – Charcuterie, Boucherie (cold cuts) (sjarcutery, boosjery)
Restaurant – Restaurant (restauran)
Pharmacy – Pharmacie (pharmazy)
Hospital – Hôpital (opital)
Doctor – Médecin (medzin)
Dentist – Dentiste (dentiste)
Swimming pool – Piscine (pizine)
Beach – Plage (plaa-sje)

One - Un (euh)
Two – Deux (deu)
Three - Trois (trwa)
Four – Quatre (quatre)
Five – Cinq (sank)
Six – Six (sees)
Seven – Sept (set)
Eight – Huit (we'd)
Nine – Neuf (nuf)
Ten – Dix (dees)

In German there are some letters that need attention for the pronunciation:
"a" is pronounced as the British "a" in can't
"s" is pronounced as "z"
"z" is pronounced as "ts"

Good morning - Gutenmorgen (gootenmorgen)
Good day - Gutentag (gootentaag)
Good evening - Gutenabend (gootenabend)
Hello - Hallo (halloo)
Goodbye - Auf Wiedersehen (auf weederzahn)
Please when giving/when receiving - Bitte (beete / Gerne (gerne)
Thank you - Vielen Dank (feelen dank)
Sorry - Entschuldigung (entshooldeegoong)
Yes - Ja (yah)
No - Nein (nine)
Supermarket - Supermarkt (zoopermarkt)
Bakery - Bäckerei (beckereye)
Butcher - Fleischerei (fly-shereye)
Restaurant - Restaurant (restaurant)
Pharmacy - Apotheke (apothaka)
Hospital - Krankenhaus (krunkenhouse)
Doctor - Doktor (doctore)
Dentist - Zahnartzt (tsaahnaartst)
Swimming pool - Schwimmbad (shweembaad)
Beach - Strand (shtrand)

One - Eins (yns)
Two - Zwei (tswy)
Three - Drei (dry)
Four - Vier (feer)
Five - Fünf (fuenf)
Six - Sechs (zex)
Seven - Sieben (zeeben)
Eight - Acht (acht)
Nine - Neun (nine)
Ten - Zehn (tsane)

Cultural habits

Holidays in Belgium means experiencing a different culture. The culture of a country is not only defined by its architecture, clothing and language, but also by the manner of being which can be quite different from what you're used to. We hope to give you a better insight into the Belgian habits and customs with the following information:

  • Belgians are kind, they will always Greet you and if there is something will let you know in a calm and polite way.

  • When you are invited to someone's place it's customary to bring a small gift for the hostess. Some chocolates or flowers.

  • In Belgium having a drink somewhere is well known. In most bars and cafés you can choose from various kinds of beer from the barrel and you can often have a bite to eat too.

  • It's customary to give a tip for received services like in restaurants when you're satisfied. The general amount is between 5-10%. Usually porters, taxi chauffeurs and cloak-room attendants also receive a tip.

  • The holiday homes in Belgium are usually more basic and with a more basic interior.

  • Belgians are proud of their country, culture, sportsmen and famous and important persons. They will do everything they can to please their guests. Not everyone speaks Dutch but they will always try to help. In case there is something with the holiday home you can report this to the house owner, best in a calm manner. Keep in mind that the owner is proud of his house and has done his best to make it as nice as possible.


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